Press release / March 19, 2018

Global Witness calls for EU action to better regulate palm oil, coffee and beef

Global Witness welcomes a new study published on Friday evening by the European Commission, which sets out options for the EU to step up action against deforestation including the regulation of commodities that can be linked to deforestation, forest degradation or violations of community land rights. The NGO urges the European Commission to now commit to taking ambitious action.

Commenting on the Commission’s study, Jo Blackman, Campaign Leader at Global Witness, said:

“This report has the potential to be an important first step in ensuring the EU is taking its responsibility to prevent deforestation, forest degradation and land rights violations. However, it is vital that the study is now not left on the shelf gathering dust. We need the EU to deliver an Action Plan that includes new binding legislation to ensure that the EU's demand for agricultural commodities does not fuel environmental destruction or human rights violations, and ensure companies are held accountable should they fail to guarantee better sustainability practices in their supply chains.

“EU countries are a major importer of commodities whose production is having a devastating impact on forests, the wildlife and those communities that rely on them. This includes palm oil, coffee and beef. At the moment, European consumers are buying products containing these commodities, without the knowledge they are contributing to environmental damage on a huge scale.

“The EU has signed up to a series of ambitious commitments under the Paris climate agreement and the sustainable development goals. If it is to deliver on them, it must now show some real leadership and step up its action against deforestation, forest degradation and land rights violations.”

/ ENDS

Contacts

Jo Blackman, Campaign Leader

[email protected]

+44 (0)7912 517 126

General/out of hours media enquiries

[email protected]

+44 (0) 7912517127

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